A pursuit line was a formation of the Imperial Navy commanded by a captain of the line. Pursuit lines numbered between four and ten starships of lighter designations such as a corvette. The main mission of a pursuit line was to follow retreating enemy starships. In this mission profile, they either chased enemy ships that lacked hyperspace capability, such as short range starfighters, or followed a retreating enemy long enough to determine their hyperspace jump vector.
Pursuit lines were also employed on missions referred to a "beambaiting." Pursuit lines tracked Alliance starships to a suspected home base then engaged them in an effort to see if any other Alliance forces aided them. The pursuit line would then retreat until a heavier assault force could arrive from hyperspace. The Galactic Empire would also send pursuit lines on these missions without reinforcement so that Alliance forces could never be sure if the pursuit line was part of a trap or not.
- Imperial Sourcebook
- Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide